Friday, 25 April 2008

Messages from Uganda

Having sent the funds out to Uganda this week we have received messages from Pastor Paul & Pastor Nicholas....

Pastor Paul writes...

Dear Pastor Martin,
Thanks for that great news. Praise the Lord! This is going to be a big boost for our ministry. I am sure with the support of ACET, we are going to do our best for His glory.I have spoken to David about the project, and we have planned to meet early next week to discuss how things are going to be handled, including monitoring, progress and financial reports.Pray for us that our partnership will bring glory to His Name, as we expand His Kingdom.May the Lord continue to bless your loving congregation for this great miracle. Deliver our love to all.In His Service,
Some of the people in one community being helped by The Centre For Evangelism

Pastor Nicholas writes...

Blessings to you Pastor Martin and all the saints at St James.
On behalf of Kakira Christian Family Centre and Tumaini Children's Home in Kakira, I send you our love and appreciation for allyour prayers, concern and support. It is with gratitude to know that the money for the proposal has been transferred to ACET. The Lord bless you. All this funding is to be used for the extension of the Kingdom of God in our nation, according for prioritized needs for the children.
With my LUV

One of the corridors at the home that needs some serious "finishing off"

The outside of the Tumaini Children's Home in Kakira - They have an amazing view from there!

One of the dorms...yes they do have mosquito nets now! But no loos...that is where we come in!

Once again, thank you to the St James Church family for your wonderful generosity. We praise God that we are now moving forward in a very real way with Love Africa. Please pray that these projects flourich in The Lord...the enemy prowls around and they soo need our prayers.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

First Project Money is about to go!

At last, after all the due dilligence and detailed prayer & discussion, we are sending funds to our first two projects in Uganda as part of our Love Africa initiative. If you have given, here is a bit more detail about where the first phase of funding is going. If you have not yet given to Love Africa then you can do that any time, just speak to the Church Office.

We are waiting on big proposals from 6-8 more projects due in May and also proposals for funding ACET themselves. All our commitments are, in principle, for three years.

Project 1: Tumaini Children's Home
Many may already be familiar with this project. We have built such a wonderful relationship with Pastor Nicholas Ong'Amo and his wife who run the church and the children's ministry in the middle of a Sugar Plantation just outside Kamapla near Jinja.
Promiseland Children have already sent greetings and T-Shirts to the children there...see pics below. And now St James is fulfilling its commitment to fund the finishing off of the home which is still in a very poor state; also to provide a water system and some power to the building.
In addition we are funding education for all the children for a year and we hope that we will be able to build and sustain this commitment for each child to go through their whole primary education.

This is Winni. St James teams met her in March 2007 and again January & March 2008. She is one of the children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Tumaini is giving her hope and security. Love Africa money will make sure she, and her new brothers and sisters have a safer place to live and that she can start going to school.

Here is an extract from the Tumaini proposal introduction which gives a flavour of the passion and vision Pastor Nicholas has...

Tumaini children’s home is located at Kakira Sub County central in Butembe county of Jinja district of the Republic of Uganda. Located in a distance of 14kms away from Jinja town. Tumaini is a Swahili word for “HOPE” ... the word sums up the organisations Mission - giving hope to the hopeless.

Kakira Christian Centre started Tumaini children’s home in 1996. The prevalent situation in the community necessitated a church response to the plight of orphans and vulnerable children in our midst. Tumaini Children Home (TCH) is an interdenominational structure; it welcomes children from all faiths and walks of life with a vision to reach more children with the Gospel and compassion of Christ. The church childrens work grew to 150 children in two (2) years, used to meet every Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

In 1997 the church grew to support orphans and Vulnerable children by the provision of education /scholastic support and uniforms. A small baseline survey at the time revealed that there were over 2300 Orphans in Kakira, many of whom where not even going to school while some were living with HIV. The initial church support saw members take up children into their homes to support and foster them.

The construction and establishment of Tumaini Children’s home started in November 2004 when the children being supported was 53. It had started going beyond the ability of the local church members to support. To date TCH and Kakira Christian Centre Ministries are directly serving 148 children (orphaned) in Kakira who receive Education basic support from church congregation.

Tumaini children’s home is currently operating under Kakira Christian centre, but we aim to see it becoming a self-reliant institution before the end of this year 2008. The registration process for it to become a fully fledged autonomous institution is underway

Love Africa is sending £11,000 to fund
  • Putting in Ceilings and plastering decorating the home
  • Roof repair and restoration
  • Provision of an underground water tank to provide daily fresh water
  • Funding for solar panels to give affordable electricity
  • School fees and funding for uniform & materials for 60 children for an initial year
  • A special gift to help with food supplies as currently these children only have food five days out of seven

Children welcome the St James team at the Tumaini Home

Project 2: Centre For Evangelism Pastor Paul Luballe

Pastor Paul has been a church leader and planter for many years. His biggest challenge in every community in which he operates is Orphans, widows and vulnerable children. He has started to develop training and equipping programmes to ensure that his local church pastors can give hope to people living with HIV/AIDS by helping them establish and sustain child-headed families. Our teams visiting in 07 and 08 met some of the young men who are being helped by Pastor Paul's Churches...truly amazing work!

Pastor Paul is working with the poorest and most vulnerabnle families. Here is an extract from his proposal that describes the work we are helping to fund:

The target group is composed of 20 homes from each of 5 selected centers in the communities where the Centre for Evangelism Ministry operates. These homes have an average of 7 people each. They include, PLHA (people living with HIV/AIDS), widows, orphans, widowers, in and out of school youths, the elderly and other vulnerable community members.

The target group as described above are mainly rural, based people, of low income, earning their livelihood from subsistence farming and small scale rearing of a few animals like goats, chicken, pigs. They generally live in poor quality houses. 86 % of the households have rammed earth for walls, and 40 % have thatch for roofing materials.

25 % of the children below 18 years are orphans. Of these less than 30 % have a pair of shoes while only 25 % have a separate blanket to themselves. Of the children 6 – 12 years 13 % are out of school. Up to 23 % of these people have no access to safe water and 15 % have no toilet facilities.

Majority cannot afford the cost of mosquito nets to guard against malaria carrying mosquitoes. All households use firewood for cooking. Their main source of information is by word of mouth – up to 65 % of the households. This is an environment with high chances for HIV/AIDS infection if nothing is done.

Such are the direct beneficiaries. They are linked to the CFE centres through the organisation’s community workers. In each centre these workers (at least 10) are drawn from the community and trained. They live in the community side by side with the target households.

Freddie Jones & David Kabiswa talking with Pastor Paul in January 2008. His work is awe inspiring and his vision is compelling.

The Centre For Evangelism proposal is asking for funding for Pastor Paul to enlarge and deepen his work accross the board. He is asking for £20,000 over two years with an option to run to a third year as he see the work growing. We are sendng out the first six months of funding and as the work develops we have made an in principle commitment to the two year proposal. We are his first ever supporter comitted to him for a number of years. He is very excited!

Please pray for Pastor Paul and his team and Pastor Nicholas and his wife Marie. They are seeing God at work around them every day and they need the security and hope that comes from the commitments and encouragement we are giving them.

As the rest of the (bigger) Projects emerge in the coming weeks we hope to mobilise teams of volunteers at St James who will contribute to our corer areas of:

  1. Prayer

  2. Encouragement

  3. Funding

  4. Skills sharing visits

  5. Advocacy to the wider church and wider community

If you want to be involved then just call Martn Williams or any member of the current Love Africa Team

John Smiley, Bev Duery, Sue Gillespie, Wendy Blinco, Jacky Hughes, Debbie Perrera, Peter Mawditt, Nigel Young, Shawn Swinney, Andrew Shingleton.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

More thoughts from the returning team

Jacky Hughes says...

It has been difficult to concentrate today. My mind keeps going back to all the wonderful people we met and the amazing work they are doing with God's grace. On Friday we visited Pastor Luis working in the Kampala slums helping widows and orphans to find hope for the future and bringing them to faith through deeds and love. As well as providing some schooling for the smallest children within his families he is providing women with life skills so that they can become more financially independent.
The pictures shows one lady making beautiful paper beads which then become the necklaces on the table.

Another picture shows Kathy having a go! Other women were weaving mats and making dresses and wrap round skirts.

The necklaces proved particularly popular and we all bought some. They will be treasured reminders of what can be achieved when you restore hope to people. Jacky

Some first thoughts form March Team Visit members on their return

Andrew Bell writes...

Loving people into the Kingdom:
We saw so many amazing examples of churches and individuals loving and caring for their neighbours. When they told us about their churches, it wasn't about their Sunday services, but about what they are doing to help their communities - visiting people in their homes, helping them to generate a little income, caring for the sick ... As well as bringing relief, this has resulted in many people coming to faith and churches growing.

Smiling faces
These people have so little, and in many cases suffer so much - but they have such beautiful smiles!
Everywhere we went we were made so welcome. People hugged us, sang and danced for us. They invited us into their tiny homes. They seemed to count it a privilege that we were there - which made us feel very humble.